Cavs vs Wizards Preview: Beal Remains Out As Wizards Take Another Crack at Clinching Postseason Berth
With the San Antonio Spurs backing into a play-in tournament spot last night, the remaining undecided NBA postseason place could be wrapped up in tonight’s Cavs vs Wizards matchup.
For the Wizards, tonight is about ensuring that there will not be any Sunday sweating. They agonizingly missed two golden opportunities in Atlanta, and another miss would allow the Chicago Bulls to hold on for more day.
The Cavs have little to play for other than pride at this point, but they visit D.C. following a rare win. Will they step up in the spoiler role tonight and help out a rival? Or will the Wizards improve to 16-6 in their last 22 games and lock in the final piece of the postseason puzzle?
Cleveland Cavaliers (22-48) vs Washington Wizards (32-38), NBC Sports Washington, 7:00 pm ET
Betting Statistics: Cavs vs Wizards
- Cleveland Cavaliers: 22-48 SU, 26-44 ATS, 31-37-2 O/U
- Washington Wizards: 32-38 SU, 40-29-1 ATS, 35-34 O/U
Cavs vs Wizards Betting Odds
- Spread: Cavs +9 (-106), Wizards -9 (-114)
- Total: OVER 226.5 (-106), UNDER 226.5 (-114)
- Moneyline: Cavs +340, Wizards -430
Cavs vs Wizards betting odds are via FanDuel Sportsbook as of Friday, May 14 at 4:00 pm ET. For more NBA betting odds, check out our NBA odds page. It features updated odds from FanDuel and other top online sportsbooks.
Wizards Still Waiting to Clinch After Double Disappointment in Atlanta
At this point, the Wizards would much rather be looking forward to next week’s postseason play-in tournament. However, they were unable to wrap up their spot in a disappointing trip to Atlanta this week.
On Monday, the Hawks led by nine with under five minutes left, but a furious rally gave Washington a chance to win on their final possession. However, Westbrook missed a three that would have won it as the Wizards went down 125-124.
There was more late drama in Wednesday’s rematch with the Hawks, with an ending that was more agonizing than Monday’s. The Wizards led by as many as 13 in the fourth quarter, before the Hawks made the inevitable push. With 2:43 left, two Alex Len free throws put Washington ahead 116-111, and they appeared to be on their way to fending off that push. But those two free throws were the Wizards’ last points of the game, as the Hawks scored the last nine to take a 120-116 win.
As a result, the Chicago Bulls are still mathematically alive thanks to their late surge. All the Wizards need to finish off the Bulls’ hopes, even if the Bulls win out, is win either tonight or on Sunday against the Charlotte Hornets.
Can the Wizards Win Without Bradley Beal?
They will have to do it without Bradley Beal, who is sidelined due to a left hamstring strain. Beal was absent for the two games in Atlanta, and his status for Sunday’s season finale is uncertain.
Westbrook starred against the Hawks, compiling 62 points, 18 rebounds, and 36 assists in the two games. Wednesday’s game was a rare one without a triple-double for him, as he finished with only five rebounds. That makes the Westbrook to record a triple-double/Wizards to win combo prop a play worth considering. Westbrook has not had consecutive games without a triple-double since March. Since then, he has 22 triple-doubles in 27 games. The last time he went without a triple-double, he put up 21 rebounds and 24 assists his next time out.
But for all of Westbrook’s exploits, the Wizards are a much more successful team when Beal is on the floor too. In fact, a look at how the team has done without Beal makes for grim reading. With Beal, the Wizards are 31-28 SU. In the 11 games he has missed this season, they have won only once. Once.
That said, tonight’s Cavs vs Wizards matchup is one that the home team will be expected to win and win comfortably. The Wizards are only 17-17 SU at home this season, but they are 7-1 SU at home in their last eight home games.
Early NBA odds have the Wizards a healthy favorite against one of the NBA’s worst teams, and our aggregated NBA picks favor the hosts to cover. They’re only 7-6 SU and 6-7 ATS as a home favorite this season, but they are 7-2 SU and 6-3 ATS in that role since an 0-4 start.
Can the Cavs Play Spoiler?
Tonight should see the Wizards secure a postseason place for the first time since the 2017-18 season. But can the visitors spoil those plans?
It’s not likely, but never say never. The Cavs had lost 11 in a row and 16 of 19 heading into Wednesday’s visit from the postseason-bound Boston Celtics. But they produced one of their better defensive performances of the season to defeat the Celtics 102-94.
But a second consecutive win is a tall order, and so is a second straight cover. The Cavs have won consecutive games only once in a 35-game stretch over the last two months. In that stretch, they have covered in consecutive games only twice. Additionally, the Cavs are a woeful 9-25 SU and 10-24 ATS on the road this season.
This matchup is the third Cavs vs Wizards meeting in recent weeks, and both previous meetings went the Wizards’ way. On April 25, the Wizards outscored the Cavs 32-17 to win 119-110 at home. Five days later, they went to Cleveland and were dominant in a game-changing third quarter on the way to a 122-93 rout.
Washington’s record without Bradley Beal is not good at all, but this is a spot where the Wizards should be able to win without him. Also, the under should be a popular pick in this one. The under is 21-12-1 in the Cavs’ road games this season, and it has hit in six of their last seven road games. On the other side of this matchup, the under is 7-3 in the Wizards’ last ten home games.
Cavs vs Wizards Betting Consensus
- Spread: 64% Cavs, 36% Wizards (at +/-8.5)
- Total: 55% OVER, 45% UNDER (at O/U 226.5)
- Moneyline: 9% Cavs, 91% Wizards
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